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Article created by Talon Karrde (Woad Creations)

This article will be on swamps, specifically tropical swamps. Tropical swamps take some extra effort to create if you want them to seem as genuine as possible. Personally, I have found that there are pretty much only three terrains to blend together for the actual terrain of the swamp: sand wet, grass undergrowth, and water deep. Personally, I think about half should be sand wet, and the rest about evenly split between grass undergrowth and water deep. Elevation should also stay between -2 and 3 or 4. Finally, a tropical swamp will need a lot of GAIA objects such as ferns and bushes, and you’ll have to be very creative if you don’t want the player to feel like he’s just walking through the same area of swamp over and over again when he’s actually not.
  1. Swamps need water, ja? So put -1 elevation (shallow, traversable water) down with the one tile brush. Notice I already have the sand wet put down where the swamp will be. If you want a path or road through the swamp, be sure to keep that in mind while placing the water down.

  2. (Sorry for the environment change in the screenies, I went to refer to another of my swamps, which had a different lighting) Now, the terrain mixing. Stop groaning and look at the screenies if you have no idea how to mix these three terrains (sand wet, grass undergrowth and water deep) together. You’ll notice that I have a road going through.

  3. Now come the trees. Since this is a tropical swamp, it only makes sense to have palm trees, right? …Right?! Good, I thought so too. Now, this isn't a forest, so don’t bunch them so close you can’t get through any two trees.

  4. Now that you’ve put those down, you can get to work on the little things that will be absolutely everywhere. Bushes, ferns, fences. Fences?! If you have a road, you don’t want people falling off into the swamp, do you? Well, maybe YOU do, but whoever built the road doesn’t. I mean, if they wanted people to fall into the swamp, why build the road in the first place? Now shaddup and look at the screenies. See those bushes? How many do you count? Maybe you count six? Or maybe you notice something strange, and see that I’ve actually placed down 13 bushes?

  5. To add to the atmosphere of the swamp, some mist may be nice, but remember that it wanders so you’d better make the swamp visit at the beginning of the scenario. My personal favorite atmosphere for a tropical swamp is night. Nighttime makes it look just that much more forboding, y’know?

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